Last week, I bemoaned the quality of college football’s slate of games. The upside to lopsided matchups is the potential for incredible upsets. Arkansas vs. Louisiana-Monroe is a lot more fun when Louisiana-Monroe wins. There are plenty of opportunities for similar shockers this Saturday, but we are also treated to what should be competitive games between Florida and Tennessee, Michigan State and Notre Dame, and USC and Stanford. Before we look ahead, let’s look back on this past weekend, which included a reminder of how dangerous football can be.
Tulane player suffers spinal cord injury
All other college football news is meaningless by comparison, so it only feels right to start with this: While making a tackle on a kickoff return, Tulane senior Devon Walker suffered a spinal cord injury, though the severity—and whether Walker is paralyzed—is not yet known. According to the Associated Press, “Devon Walker was in stable condition Monday, recovering in an intensive-care unit after Sunday’s three-hour surgery to stabilize his spine.” No more information is known at this time. It was impossible to hear the news and not think of Eric LeGrand. My thoughts and prayers are with Devon and his family.
Is it too late to go back?
Playing in their first SEC games after leaving the Big 12, both Missouri and Texas A&M lost on Saturday. While I appreciate the visiting Georgia fans chanting “OLD MAN FOOT-BALL!” as the Bulldogs closed out a victory at Missouri, it would have been hilarious if they chanted “S-E-C!” Same goes for the visiting Florida fans in College Station.
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’
Those with more resources and time than I reported that Arkansas’ plunge from No. 8 to unranked was the second biggest fall in the history of the AP Poll. Here at andrewjkahn.com, we will never speak of the biggest drop in poll history. The Razorbacks’ plummet came after a 34-31 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe, a team that went 3-5 in the Sun Belt last season. The game was nationally televised, meaning fans all over the country got to see Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning carve up the Hogs on the ground and through the air. After his 16-yard scamper on fourth-and-1 won the game, Browning told a sideline reporter, “I seen a big ole hole backside, ran for it, and ended up scoring a touchdown.” ULM travels to 0-2 Auburn on Saturday.
The Warhawks did not provide the only upset of the day. Two other Division I-AA schools beat I-A schools: North Dakota State smacked Colorado State, 22-7, and Sacramento State beat Colorado with a field goal as time expired. NDSU won the national championship last year; Sacramento State was 4-7 (though it did beat Oregon State in the opener). Speaking of Oregon State, the Beavers scored a huge win over No. 13 Wisconsin.
Two is better than one
And speaking of Wisconsin, the Badgers pulled a Houston and fired their offensive line coach, Mike Markuson, after the game, Markuson’s second at the school. As you may recall, Houston fired its offensive coordinator after just one game, when it only scored 13 points. The move turned out to be genius, as the Cougars scored 49 against Louisiana Tech last Saturday. La. Tech, however, scored 56. I’m guessing Houston’s defensive coordinator turned off his phone on Sunday morning.
One is better than two
Way back in nineteen hundred and ninety four, I would spend hours in my basement playing the Bill Walsh College Football videogame against my brothers. You could choose from historical teams; one of them was the 1983 Auburn Tigers featuring Bo Jackson. I often chose this team and would run one of two offensive plays: Student Body Right or Student Body Left, a simple toss sweep to Jackson, whose speed and power led to countless touchdowns. (Bo knows videogame dominance.) I mention this because it is painfully obvious that Michigan’s best play is “Let Denard Run.” With his performance against Air Force on Saturday, Robinson became the first player in NCAA history to record at least three games with 200 yards rushing and 200 passing. He finished with 426 total yards. Michigan, as a whole, had 422 total yards. This is not a typo. He will receive a long, emotional blog post later in the season because he routinely does things like this:
And yes, the title of the video is correct: Denard lost his shoe during the process:
Apparently you only need one shoe to succeed as a Michigan football player. Opposing fans will turn that into a joke about how Michigan athletes can’t tie their own shoes. I will not be amused.
Arbitrary, flawless poll
Without looking at last week’s poll, I give you my top 10:
5. West Virginia
7. Michigan State
8. South Carolina
Upset Pick: None. Among the top 25 teams, I think all the favorites will win. So I am forced to go outside the polls and pick Good over Evil (Navy over Penn State) (season record: 1-1)
Fun Factoid: With a win over lowly Idaho, LSU will set the NCAA record for consecutive regular season nonconference wins (40). Only 34 of these victories have come against Idaho. (That’s a joke, but LSU’s nonconference schedule hasn’t been daunting.)
ESPN’s College Football Final “Final Verdict” Winner: Lou Holtz, M.D. (season record: 1-1)
Amusing Tweet of the Week: “If anyone see any of our players with a ball in their hand, slap it out and bring it to me. You will get to travel with us to UK. Go Tops!”
—@CoachTaggart (Willie Taggart), the head coach of Western Kentucky, after the Hilltoppers lost three fumbles against Alabama.
Amusing Comment of the Week: “Everybody wears (University of Kentucky apparel) and I hear people ask them why they do it, and the reason they’re at WKU is probably they couldn’t get into UK.”
—Taggart, again, this time speaking about Western Kentucky students wearing University of Kentucky gear on campus. WKU plays UK on Saturday.
Worst Campaign Slogan: “Vote for Me.” That’s the slogan for UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, who eventually wants to run for mayor, as told to a sideline reporter after UCLA’s win over Nebraska.
Kahn Family Smiles (one smile for each projected win between Michigan and Notre Dame this week):
Pet Fan of the Week: Charlie, a 1.5-year-old border collie/German shepherd mix, and a Michigan fan, sent to me by Nikki. If you are tired of seeing canine Michigan supporters, please send me a photo of your pet supporting a
lesser different school.